Monday, July 15, 2013

My Favorite Era: Predator 2 (1990)

While not as good as the first one, Predator 2 is still a fun bit of gory ultra-violence with a great cast, good f/x from Stan Winston and an awesome finale.  The only problem is what comes before it, though there is some good stuff to be found.  Let's take a closer look.
  • The main issue here is that the film is essentially a remake of the original.  They pay a little lip service to the first one, setting it ten years after it and noting the events but for the most part it's the same damn film.  This leads to a rather annoying bit of frustration for the viewer since anyone who has seen the first one (as in most of the people watching the second) know exactly what the characters are dealing with and it comes off as very repetitive.  The only difference is that it's louder, bloodier and even more violent.  Not necessarily a deal breaker for me, though.  To be fair, this is Joel Silver excess at its finest.
  • Love the opening with the of Predator POV shots leading into a huge shootout between the cops and two drug gangs.  Hell, this even manages to make the then-popular Morton Downey Jr. (no relation to Robert, look him up if you want the full scoop on this drip) somewhat palatable simply because his entire role in the film consists of him getting abused by a very angry Danny Glover.
  • Speaking of Glover, he's surprisingly good as the typical hard ass cop hero, Harrigan.  Generally, one pictures him as the down to earth Roger Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon films but he does quite nicely as the borderline Section 8 type.  I also like that he's not wild about heights.  It's not deep or anything but it's something.
  •  I dig Harrigan's team.  Ruben Blades is always a solid actor and Maria Conchita Alonso also turns in a solid performance.  Her character is basically Vasquez from Aliens with a badge but she still has a few fun bits.  Also good is Bill Paxton who joins them later.  As usual, Bill is hilarious.  Even funnier is having Robert Davi as the deputy chief of the LAPD.  Not often you get this guy as the obligatory pissed off chief.
  • But even better is Gary Busey as federal officer Keyes.  Busey is his usual hilarious redneck self.  The man may be certifiable but he sure as hell is fun to watch.
  • While the film slogs its way down a road already traveled, Stan Winston does deliver the goods with some more great work.  The Predator this time out is younger, leaner and meaner and some cool new weapons.  The subway rampage he goes on is pretty good too.
  • Stephen Hopkins also does a pretty solid job of directing, doing his best to keep things moving.
  • The film really picks up after an hour when Harrigan goes off after the beast on his own.  Keyes intercepts him and of course it's all about getting the predator's technology.  Busey is good here, though.  He gets a great death scene later on.
  • The showdown between Harrigan and the Predator is good, though not quite as iconic as the one from the first film.  It goes all through a building, down into the sewer and finally on the alien ship.  Good stuff, though the in-joke with the Alien head did unintentionally lead to Alien vs. Predator and its sequel.  Can't win them all.
I like this one, in spite of its flaws.  It's well made, has a good cast and the last forty five minutes are actually quite good.  It's not as good as the first (or 2010's Predators for that matter) but it's a damn sight better than those two Alien vs. Predator turds.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.